Obama’s Speech To America’s School Children – Obama’s History Of Politicizing The Classroom

The Story:

Obama will deliver a national address directly to students on Tuesday, which will be the first day of classes for many children across the country. The address, to be broadcast live on the White House’s Web site, was announced in a letter to school principals last week by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.In advance of the address, the Department of Education has offered educators “classroom activities” to coincide with Obama’s message. Students in grades pre-K-6, for example, are encouraged to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.” 

Teachers are also given guidance to tell students to “build background knowledge about the president of the United States by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama.”

During the speech, “teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful.”

For grades 7-12, the Department of Education suggests teachers prepare by excerpting quotes from Obama’s speeches on education for their students to contemplate, younger students will be given pictures of Obama on pages containing “Obama Education quotes” to colour ….

Obama’s critics say the lesson plans and the president’s calls for a “supportive community” are troubling on many levels.

“In general, I don’t think there’s a problem if the president uses the bully pulpit to tell kids to work hard, study hard and things like that. But there are some troubling hints in this, both educationally and politically,” said Neal McCluskey, associate director of Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom.

Among the concerns, McCluskey said, is the notion that students who do not support Obama or his educational policies will begin the school year “behind the eight ball,” or somehow academically trailing their peers.

“It essentially tries to force kids to say the president and the presidency is inspiring, and that’s very problematic,” McCluskey said. “It’s very concerning that you would do that.”

Parents of public school students would also have to pay for that “indoctrination,” regardless of their political background, he said.

“That’s the fundamental problem. They could easily be funding the indoctrination of their children.”

After reading the Department of Education lesson plans for the speech, McCluskey said he noticed several passages that should set off “alarm bells,” including language that attempts to “glorify President Obama” in the minds of young students.

“It could be a blatantly political move,” he said. “Nobody knows for sure, but it gives that impression.”

McCluskey also noted that the lesson plans for young students contain suggestions to write letters to themselves on how they can help the president, but that suggestion is not in the lesson plan for middle and high schoolers — perhaps due to the likelihood of increased political ties at that age.

“You don’t want to see this coming from the president,” McCluskey said. “You don’t want to see this coming from the federal government.”

McAuleys World:

In John F. Kennedy famous quote, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” – Kennedy didn’t ask anyone to consider what they could do for President John F Kennedy ….. Kennedy must be rolling in his grave.

After the kids color the pictures of “Obama Quotes On Education” will the pictures be collected and bound in a “Little Red Book” – wait a minute, that has already been done by a “Great Leader”, correct.(Quotes from General and later Chairman Mao in the “Little Red Book”).

We don’t pledge allegiance to any particular politician or President in this country – we pledge to the Constitution and the concepts it represents …. the Countries that pledge allegiance to individual politicians are all dictatorships, Red China, the Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany – where the Military was required to pledge individual allegiance to Hitler over the Country or its Government.

This isn’t the first time Obama has tried this tact, using the educational system in an attempt to “sell” his view of America directly to America’s School children. See the following post from October 2008:

Over at RealDebateWisconsin Fred Dooley was contacted by the mother of a Racine Unified School District 8th grade student in Wisconsin public schools about an outrageous thing she found in her son’s school textbook. Apparently, in this textbook supposedly teaching about literature, one of the books being pushed as a perfect example of that subject is Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams from my Father. That’s right, a book by a current political candidate for president is being pushed on our children as “literature.” It also seems probable from campaign donation records that a principle member of the publishing company is a large Obama donor.

One would think that focusing on the ideology of a politician currently running for president would be a bit over-the-top even for our extreme left leaning system of education in this country. But there it is anyway. The book even presents a photo of the Senator at a campaign rally with signs advertising his campaign website address to help better indoctrinate the kids.

Of course, the very first question that comes to mind is this: how wide spread would this story have become if it were a Republican featured in a kid’s textbook?

http://www.stoptheaclu.com/2008/10/15/obama-pushed-on-our-kids-in-grade-school-lit-textbook/

As we now know, “Dreams of My Father” is loaded with self serving half truths and outright falsehoods not to mention references to “chooming” in High School and his drug use, including cocaine, during Obama’s college years ……….. 

I’ve read “Dreams”, it shouldn’t qualify as literature in anyway but the generic use of the term….. propaganda yes, literature no.

Unfortunately one of the definitions of literature includes the following;

Literature: any kind of printed material, as circulars, leaflets, or handbills, literature describing company products.

America’s children don’t need to be sold product Obama.

Remember this from one year ago …………

or this from 70 years ago …..

The true story of that song was published here, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/MeghanCoxGurdon/Obama_indoctrination_in_the_schools_012209.html

The introduction to the song is an outright lie – it wasn’t recorded in a home, it was recorded in a school, as one can tell from the video. The article, published in January 2009, states the following, 

“Those who adore him are so wreathed in their own rapture that they seem to have forgotten not everyone shares their joy.  In some local schools, adult enthusiasm for the new president has come perilously close to indoctrination.

That’s what a friend of mine encountered at the private elementary school her child attends.  Stopping by the school one day not long ago, she happened to run into the music teacher.

“I’m so excited,” the teacher bubbled, “I’ve just composed a song for the children!”  The purpose of the song, the teacher explained, was to celebrate the results of a school wide mock election in which – surprise! — Barack Obama had come out victorious.

“And the chorus goes, “Yes We Can!” the teacher enthused.  My friend was stunned.  What was the school thinking, getting children to sing political campaign slogans?

She took her concerns to the school principal, fearful that her objections would be taken the wrong way.  After all, why would anyone complain about a cheerful, positive song? 

In the principal’s office, my friend gently pointed out that when we see schoolchildren in foreign countries chanting government slogans we call it political indoctrination.”

The parents of the school children were not contacted nor was permission sought before the children were “taught” the song at this private school ……

then there is this article from Politico from February of this year,

Obama pitches stimulus to school kids”

By NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON | 2/4/09

POTUS on Tuesday showed that he will leave no stone unturned in scouring for votes for his stimulus plan, reaching out to an unlikely constituency: second graders.

Yes, 25 elementary school students at Capital City Public Charter School were treated to a story read by POTUS and FLOTUS: “The Moon Over Star,” by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkey. The picture book, published about four months ago, is a tribute to the July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lunar landing and the inspiration it provides for a young girl to pursue her dreams.

On Tuesday, POTUS entered the room with an effusive “Hello, everybody,” then walked around shaking hands, remarking, “Good to see you guys.”

“We were just tired of being in the White House,” he said, taking a seat with FLOTUS.

After the reading, POTUS asked if anyone wanted to be an astronaut, and one child said yes. “‘What else do people want to be?” POTUS asked, and the answers included doctor, football player and sculptor. One boy wanted to be president. “I think you might make it,” POTUS said. One girl said she wanted to be first lady. “It doesn’t pay much,” FLOTUS observed.

POTUS talked about how great and innovative the school was and how it was a model for schools across the country. And then things turned — serious. Perhaps POTUS thought he was on the Hill? Maybe he thought the kids were Republicans?

In any case, Obama pledged that his proposed stimulus package would “provide billions of dollars to build schools and help with school construction.” 

“And so we think it’s really important for the country that we get that bill passed,” he said. (Pool reports indicated no significant opposition among the children.) “But thank you so much, everybody. Appreciate you.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18378.html

Never mind the fact that the “Stimulus” hasn’t delivered on any of the promises – what right did Obama have to bring politics into a class of 2nd graders.

Than there was this story …..

My son, who is in 1st grade, came home yesterday saying that he didn’t want to go back to school anymore. So I asked him why? He said that during the Pledge of Allegiance the teacher put up a large image of Obama next to the flag. I asked him if he was sure of this and I suggested to him that maybe the teacher just put up an 8×10 photo of the president. He said, “No, it is a large picture of Obama and when we are done Ms. **** turns off the image.” I also asked if they did this for Bush last year? He again said, “No.” This was my sons first day back to school since before Christmas, he was on a 5 week track break.

My wife volunteers a couple of days each week with helping out with my sons teacher doing various duties. She said that she would come in early this morning to see what was going on. She just got back and reported that this was true and then some. She said she waited out in the pod area and could see inside 3 of the 5 class rooms in this section of school. She said that when the kids stand each teacher flips on the classroom overhead and a full body image of Obama, with six U.S. flags behind him, comes up about 4 feet away from the flag that hangs on the wall. She said that the image has Obama staring straight at you with no facial expressions, just a serious look. I asked my wife if Obama had his hand over his heart? She said that she was so taken aback by this that she didn’t see it. What is worse is she said that all of the kids in each class faced Obama instead of the flag that hangs in the corner.What the heck is going on? This is happening in the Clark County School District here in Las Vegas, Henderson area.” http://www.infowars.net/articles/january2009/280109Obama_worship.htm

If you think that is unacceptable – try this on for size …. it was recorded by a foreign press organization ……

Why hasn’t this person been fired? How did she ever get certified to teach?

How surpising, Obama won a “mock election” in her classroom.

Contact your local school officials now.

K through 6 presentation Menu from Department of Education here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10582301/President-Obama%E2%80%99s-Address-to-Students-Across-America-September-8-2009

7 through 12  presentation Menu from the Department of Education here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10648471/Obama’s-Address-to-Students-Across-America-September-8-2009-Menu-of-Classroom-Activities-7-12 

Lets not forget the Obama Video Pledge – recorded for use in conjunction with the Obama speech to students.

This is the original version of the video, the one shown to students in Utah included an introduction by Obama in which he said, “”So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.” http://www.deseretnews.com/article/content/mobile/705327260/Eagle-Forum-parents-decry-video.html or here http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13249171

While several of the goals are laudible and universally desired …. the discussion is over how to achieve the goals – pledging to meet a goal should be the objective – not a pledge to an individual – history has taught the dangers in doing the later rather than the former. What am I talking about, well lets take the issue of slavery – I certainly hope they are including the millions of people enslaved by communism and the other oppressive regimes of the world, including those currently in power in Cuba and Venezuela to name just two …… How about supporting the preservation of Democracy in Honduras ….. or the issue of Universal Health Care – when they say Universal do they mean Government run and rationed health care? Does stem cell research include embryonic stem cell research? Will getting rid of that car for a “hybrid” put more US auto workers out on the street?  …. the devil is always in the detail …. Adults need to get the details before they make a pledge…. children shouldn’t be confronted with these issues.  

OUR CHILDREN SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WADE THROUGH THIS – THEY ARE IN SCHOOL TO BE EDUCATED NOT INDOCTRINATED.

Update: The White House confirmed today, 09/03/09, that the White House did, in fact, work with the Federal Department of Education to design the materials to be used in conjunction with Obama’s planned address to America’s school children.

One Response

  1. As an educator I am amazed at the furor the far right have managed to raise over the fact that President Obama is taking a few minutes to speak to our children and giving the students an invitation to respond. It seems , we as educators, have failed to teach our past students , today’s parents , to think for themselves and not be swayed by the overzealous, misinformed, disruptive, and destructive radicals and hyped up media. I actually saw a mother on the television ( FOX of course) shaking and in tears that her poor child would be subjected to hearing the president speak tomorrow. Get a grip . So listen to the speech and discuss it with the child at dinner.

    The idea that a lesson plan accompanying the speech was suggested is far from overstepping the government’s bounds. Amazingly, even Disney sends out lesson plans accompanying their “free” videos etc., often with advertisements on the plans, same with the NRA, there must be plot there too. First of all the plan is suggested, secondly teachers do not ask every parent every day to ok their daily plans. Teachers are professionals and are given the responsibility of planning their lesson plans and deciding what is appropriate for their students. ( This is called professionalism.). This speech and the suggestion students write the president is a lesson in democracy, where we learn that our elected leaders actually listen to our ideas. It is a wonderful thing.

    I applaud anyone who tells students to take their education seriously and encourages them to do their best. Yes, it should come from home, but more often than not , the instilling a “work ethic” toward education is sorely lacking , many parents have failed their children in this area. ( Even Bill Cosby points this out. ) Those who raise the specter of a disruption of the day’s lesson plans have not been in a school. There is seldom a day that something doesn’t disrupt: fire drill, a new student, an assembly, principal announcements, a student question which leads to a discussion not planned, an unannounced visit by parent bringing a new puppy to show the class. Each is a teachable moment, as will be the president’s speech. I would hope adults would get their heads straight and take this as their teachable moment, discuss the good points being shared with all of the children of the nation. The saying , ” It takes a village to raise a child” is most relevant. Our president is the elected leader of our village .

    McAuleysWorld: LOL …. “teachable moment” the buss word for the day – the term being used by the “paid for bloggers”. No comments on what is actually posted here – should we assume you approve of the indoctrination that is clearly demonstrated in the videos …….. videos of your fellow “educators” … indoctrination and outright harassment do not present “teachable moments” – just watch the videos – don’t ignore them….. how dare you compare a parent bringing a puppy to school with the inexcusable harrassment that the young students received in the posted videos.

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR SPEAKING OUT AND FORCING THE ADMINISTRATION TO ALTER TODAY’S PROGRAM …… IT IS PAST TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR SCHOOLS.

    As for the President listening to the people – he seems to be deaf when it comes to health care.

    Broward County Florida Board of Education is “forcing” children to watch the address – no provisions for opting out, this is being done despite the fact that the Secretary of Education has clearly sttaed that attendance should be vountary …. more on the story here ……

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